We are Drafting our New Beginning
We have completed our four scheduled sessions of our New Beginnings conversation.
We have worked hard to assess the current status of our congregation and its ministries using the resources and data available to us. We have asked ourselves lots of hard questions and discovered that we have lots of answers and different opinions.
There were some surprises along the way, mostly related to how we actually “see” the information routinely available to the congregation. A favorite quote by George Bernard Shaw is “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” And that continues to be a problem in our congregation, even though we have many avenues of communication in place.
We have written three truths about our congregation, related to our passion, what we are “best at”, and our resources.
Our church is passionate about children, service to others, fellowship, learning, yarn ministry, music and Jesus but we are few in number, stagnant in growth, older, complacent and stuck.
Our church is best at status quo, over-meeting and over-analyzing, Crossroads, Procter School, service, open-door assistance (i.e. Love Fund), flexible/responsive to community needs, yarn ministry/compassion, Bible study, Pastor Colby (i.e. care for others), retention and longevity of members, giving and caring.
Our church is living in a building built by a previous generation that costs more than we can afford to spend and it has created a situation where we feel we need to fill a building rather than concentrate on God’s mission to fill the building. These three statements were generally accepted although we agreed to some differences in our interpretation of “best” as there is certainly room for improvement.
We then began to consider various options for moving forward. The group was unanimous that doing nothing (i.e. making no changes in what we currently do) is not an acceptable option.
There were only two votes to close the church so the remainder of the conversation centered on various options for redefining our mission and/or redevelopment of the congregation. Several general and some specific suggestions were shared verbally and others were submitted in writing at the end of the session.
Thank you to those who prepared and served the wonderful lunch as that provided an ongoing opportunity for additional discussion.
The Power Point presentation from the fourth session and other additional information will soon be available on the church website (www.fccindepmo.org) to continue stimulating other thoughts and ideas.
All suggestions, ideas and comments should be submitted no later than November 1st via the church website, to the church office, or directly to Liz Evans, Rev. Colby or Wayne Tibbetts. All suggestions will be compiled and shared with the congregation, helping us move towards a proposal on which the congregation can vote.
Where we go from here is still totally up to us.
Please prayerfully consider all the information presented and discussed and share any other thoughts and ideas that arise. No decisions have yet been made and the best decision for our congregation will be based on input from everyone and anyone who cares about this congregation and its ministry into the future.
Once we have determined and approved a general goal for our future ministry, then plans for implementation can begin. Along the way, Hope Partnership will provide additional coaching and resources as may be appropriate, especially to help us in giving up any negative thinking or “sacred cows” that may get in the way of reaching and recognizing our new successful future story.